William Perkins (1558–1602) on church, Scripture, and authority


I appreciate how William Perkins (1558–1602) discussed church, Scripture, and authority in his book on preaching,

“The church can bear witness to the canon of Scripture, but it cannot inwardly persuade us of its authority.  If that were so the voice of the church would have greater force than the voice of God, and the whole state of man’s salvation would be dependent on men.  What could be more miserable than that?”

“We do not believe something because the church says it is to be believed; rather, we believe it because what the church says has first of all been said by Scripture.”

“The person who doubts the Scriptures will also doubt the testimony of the church.”

This is a great Reformation way of thinking – we have a very high view of the church, and an even higher view of Scripture.


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